Over the weekend my friend Rachel & I went to Calgary to visit our friend Kathy who moved to the city about six months ago. This was only my second time ever being in Calgary (I know, what’s wrong with me!) and I was looking forward to trying some of the great food I know the city has to offer! After a lot of great suggestions from Twitter, we ended up at a small restaurant on the corner of Uptown 17th Avenue called Midori Japanese Cafe (1054 17 Ave.)
When I say small, I mean small! Midori is a teeny, tiny – cozy, adorable, quaint, little spot. I’d say there are about 30 seats inside and then a bit more park bench table-esque seating just outside the front door.
Midori has a lot of specialty sushi rolls (pictures & names of the rolls line the wall), along with your typical udon, bento boxes, sashimi and Japanese appetizer dishes. The prices are very affordable!
Rachel and I decided to share the Love Rolls ($12.95) – which are tempura shrimp, salmon, avocado, and tobiko rolls with a mango sauce. We were delighted to see the rolls came out in the shape of hearts! I had never seen that before. Very whimsical and even better… the rolls tasted amazing. I love the crunch factor tempura gives for rolls, the salmon and avocado was the perfect combination and the the mango sauce was amazing! One of the best rolls I’ve had. (ever) So tasty.
I ordered the Maguro Tataki (thinly sliced & seared tuna with a special sauce, $12.95) which was great. I typically like my tataki sliced really thin. This one was a bit thicker than I’d prefer but just puts more punch into the bite. I’m also used to tataki coming in a ponzu sauce so this special sauce was different but a good different! The ‘grass’ on top and the bed of arugula on the bottom made for an overall tasty tataki package.
Rachel got the Bento Special – Chicken teriyaki, California rolls, gyoza, kushi-age, steamed rice, salad and miso soup ($13.95) This dish was just okay, I didn’t find anything particularly special about anything in this bento and I also think California rolls are pretty boring so that didn’t appeal to me either (I had some of this because Rachel doesn’t eat much, lol). The bento came with miso soup to start and I will say the miso soup was fantastic! I had a bowl myself with the rice I ordered (below) but I also finished off Rachel’s. A really flavourful – earthy, salty, tofu-y & sea-weedy. (I’m an expert wordsmith, can you tell?)
I also ordered the Bul Go Gi (thin slices of prime rib eye beef marinated in a house special sauce with rice, $12.95) which was pretty good but nothing spectacular. I was pretty full from the Love Rolls, Maguro Tataki and Miso Soup that I ended up packing most of the Bul Go Gi to-go (it made for a great breakfast the next day! Lol)
Overall we loved our experience at Midori. It was affordable and delicious. The space was adorable and cozy. The service was also very friendly! We also came after what I imagine would be a pretty busy lunch rush so there was ample seating available (I figure this is not the case during the typical lunch/dinner hours). I thought the quality of the food was excellent and it also came out quickly. Nice selection of rolls and other dishes and just a really nice atmosphere. If I hadn’t made it my mission to try so many restaurants in Calgary I’d likely be back the next time I’m in town but I know that won’t happen… too many great spots to hit up! Happy to have Midori crossed off that list. ;)
So have you been to Midori Japanese Cafe? What did you think?!